JONNY MANAK & THE DEPRESSIVES: Cold Pizza & Warm Beer

Cold Pizza & Warm Beer (SDR 017) cover art

This San Jose, CA band, really just two guys, plays a great mix of surf and punk rock that is sure to put a smile on your face. This is their fifth album and it sounds like they are coming at you with guns blazing and tunes rocking your ass off.

All songs are written by Manak except for “Don’t Talk To Me” by GG And The Jabbers, and “New Race” by Radio Birdman. Manak also plays guitar, bass, piano and does vocals, while Thor DSR bangs those drums with vigor. The songs are catchy and immediate earworms that you never want to leave. The playing is impressive, with everything given room to be heard and the vocals have the right amount of snottiness to them that adds to the grit on the album. “Live In A Cube” has a fantastic early punk sound, kind of a mix of The Dead Boys and Iggy that I Can’t get enough of. That’s not saying that these guys don’t have any other good songs…that would be a lie since I liked every song on here and hit replay as soon as the album was over to hear it all again.

You can hear the fun that they had making this record and it will infuse you with the same excitement and cause random bursts of dancing, and singalongs, but that’s ok, there’s a cure for that…….play the album again! This is the kind of stuff that I look for and never find, but somehow, I got lucky and this found me.

https://www.facebook.com/Depressives

https://jonnymanakthedepressives.bandcamp.com/

http://www.jonnymanak.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SelfDestructoRecords/

https://selfdestructorecords.bandcamp.com/

http://reacharoundrecords.net/

THE KINGBEES: The Big Rock

 

The Kingbees second album The Big Rock is being re-issued with four bonus tracks. This was the band’s final release on RSO, and it features mostly originally material written by Canadian band leader Jamie James. For this special re-issue, James provides some new liner notes about the album, and has improved sound with the remastering.

Living just outside of Toronto, Ontario back in the old days of the ’80s, I got to hear this album a fair bit since local radio stations played songs from this album. I was surprised and happy to see that this was being reissued and couldn’t wait to hear it again. The remastering is terrific, clean and clear sound that makes the album sound better than ever, and a cool booklet with information about the recording. The band plays a mix of rock’n’roll, rockabilly and has a punky/new wave feel to it that just outs a smile on my face. You just want to get up and dance around when you listen to the album, especially songs like “The Big Rock,” and “Let Myself Go.” The album is a high energy party that deserved to big a bigger hit and hopefully now will reach out to those who missed it the first time around. The band doesn’t stick to a traditional rockabilly sound like later bands like the Stray Cats, instead they use that as a starting point and really just play great music. The songs still hold up to this day, which is a testament to great songwriting, well done production, and terrific playing. They have covers of Charlie Rich, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis on the original album, and a cover of the Burnettes as one of the bonus tracks.

Go out and grab a copy of this album, do yourself a favor and introduce your friends and family to this band and start a rocking party in your house as soon as you hit play. Now I need to go get their first album…..lol.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Kingbees-153029118094460/

http://www.the-kingbees.com/home.html

https://www.facebook.com/omnivorerecordings

http://omnivorerecordings.com/

 

SINNER SINNERS: XI: CD

XI cover art

The band is lead by the married duo Steve and Sam Thill, who met each other while living in a small town in France. Sinner Sinners was founded in 2009 and is now based in Los Angeles, CA.

Ten songs of gritty and rough rock’n’roll that’s mixed with a dose of punk filth to make for a thrilling sound that puts a smile on your face. The gruff vocals from Steve contrast nicely with the sweeter, but not wimpy vocals from wife Sam. The band plays like their lives depend on getting to the end of the album before they destroy their instruments. The songs come at you like punches to the kidneys, you wonder if you can take any more, but the hits keep on coming, and if things were right in the world, the hits are the devastating songs on display here. The album is so tight and thrilling and it goes by so fast, that it forces you relisten to it over and over again. Every song is a winner, it’s like they’re freaks or something, writing one blistering song after another…FREAKS!

I was more than surprised that I still can’t stop listening to this album and find that I love it all the more as I keep playing it. This is a killer album that deserves to be played loud and often.

https://www.facebook.com/sinnersinners

http://www.sinnersinners.com/

https://sinnersinners.bandcamp.com/album/xi

THE ROMANTICS: The Romantics: CD

The Romantics first album after a couple of singles and what a corker it is with a ton of catchy songs. Three of the songs from their original singles were re-recorded for this album which connected them with their past and with how they were at that point in their career.

Their first album and what an album it is…from start to finish, played like it’s the most important thing in the world, and at the time, it probably was. This was released back when radio was tired, disco was everywhere and power pop was starting to catch on because no one wanted to put out punk records, this was safer and the radio guys could get behind a poppier sound than the rough and tumble punk rockers. This kind of music wasn’t popular for long, and some bands died out quickly, (see The Knack), but thankfully a lot of this is still around and looking back, this was some damn fine music. This stuff still holds up well after all these years, this was released back in 1980 you know. You get the explosive “When I Look in Your Eyes” to start things off and what a way to start. A classic pop song that has hooks for days, the “Tell It to Carrie” comes on with its smooth sound and you know it’s going to be a great ride. There is not one bad song on this album and with all the skinny-tie bands that started with “The,” these guys and The Knack were the ones that created true classic albums. Of course hearing “What I Like About You” now doesn’t have the same excitement as it did when the album came out, but it’s still one hell of a song that gets you up and dancing, just like most of this album. It’s great to hear this album cleaned up and sounding so sharp with the remaster, giving you a chance to hear the tight musicianship of this, (at the time), young band.

You can count on getting pure enjoyment from this album from start to finish and a lot of wear and tear on your shoes from dancing so much while listening to it. Grab this album and crank it up for a great night or a fun ride in the country.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/46914602465/

http://www.romanticsdetroit.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Culture-Factory-USA/161614307253980?sk=wall

http://www.culturefactoryusa.com/

THE ROMANTICS: In Heat: CD

Originally released in 1983, this is the biggest selling album of the Romantics career containing two of their most popular songs “Talking In Your Sleep,” and “One In A Million.” Now they are remastered and back out their with an album that still holds up and shines after all these years.

This album has it all, straightforward pop/rock tunes with a big beat, huge hooks, sharp harmonies and plenty of energy to get stuck in your player for days. As soon as you hit play the album just digs into your head and it makes you smile, want to dance and sing along. I remember seeing the video of “Talking In Your Sleep” on Much Music when it first came out and it blew me away with the immediate hook…and the girls in the video. I wanted more, but I didn’t have a lot of money to spare back then, so I taped the video and the song off of the radio and felt happy about that, until I walked over to my older brother’s apartment one day to talk music and play Atari, and low and behold…he just bought the album! I went home and got a blank tape and recorded it that same day. When I got this CD and hit play, it took me back to that time in my life and I can’t express how good it makes me feel to relive those emotions especially since my brother died last year and he was a huge influence on my obsession with music all these years. One song after another of great songs come at you with only “I’m Hip,” and “Shake A Tail Feather” not being my favorites, but still won’t skip them when listening. The sound is clear, crisp and gives the listener a chance to hear the twang of the guitar clearer, the bouncing bass better, and just improves the experience to make a great album, that much better,

You really shouldn’t have to have me tell you to go out and get this, it should be obvious, but go out and get it!!! Turn it up, grab a cold drink, open up the windows on a nice day and dance your ass off while shouting along to the songs.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/46914602465/

http://www.romanticsdetroit.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Culture-Factory-USA/161614307253980?sk=wall

http://www.culturefactoryusa.com/

CADAVER DOGS: Too Much: Download

Too Much cover art

This now turned from a trio into a duo, had dropped a huge album to melt your ear-holes and get your head into a wicked place. Ten blistering tracks that just amaze and stick with you after the first listen.

The album starts with a brutal track “Black Out The Blues” and sets a very high standard for what comes after. They come out with a first track that has fantastic growls from singer / guitarist Mat Franklin, a snarling, fuzzed-out riff and drummer Lex Vegas destroys his kit. It just keeps on getting better with every track showing the tight playing that the band has been forced to do since they are now a duo and it just blows away the landscape with the intensity and raw emotional singing. This set of dirty, glammed-up blooze-rock is just the right remedy for all of the limp rock out there being hyped up by the major labels and radio…this is the shit that should get played! “Buzzards” has a VAN HALEN feel to it, you know, catchy, fun, and the kind of song that fits into a party.

Every song is a winner and if this is what they are capable of…wow! This is one of the tightest and most blistering albums that has ripped through my skull in a long time.

https://www.facebook.com/CadaverDogs    http://cadaverfuckingdogs.bandcamp.com/

http://www.cadaverfuckingdogs.com/

DANNY THOMPSON: Bigger Than Elvis: CD

 

Danny Thompson’s first real band was SLOPPY SECONDS, a ’70s punk and ’50s rock influenced group that Thompson helped form in 1983, after ten years, that band ended. He’s been in a bunch of other bands since then and is still releasing fun music, including this limited run CD of 100 copies.

“So Glad You’re Mine” is the start of a CD filled with the ghost of Elvis, and it’s a great rock’n’roll song that brings the essence of Elvis’ early material back to life. Great playing and an actual love for the music brings a smile to your face. “Don’t Be Cruel” just sounds fantastic with the total ability to update the song enough to give it a bit more edge without losing the strength of the original, plus the guitar playing is beautiful. “Return To Sender” has great drumming and the background singers made me smile when they came in for their lines. “I Beg Of You” is a hip-shaking fun song that makes you want to get up and dance to. “Lonesome Train” is a nice high energy song the just keeps a galloping beat and more of that great guitar playing that has gone throughout the album. Thompson proves his love for Elvis and his ability to play guitar with finesse and skill that puts others to shame. The album just is one fun and well-played song after another that it’s a complete treat to listen to, it’s great to hear this early rock music played with this level of talent and love for the music. “Wild One” adds some punk rock to the song and really kicks ass with the high energy of the playing, especially the wild solo. “American Girl” by TOM PETTY is a great cover with power and the combination of the Elvis and PETTY vocals really made this a stand out track. After fifteen songs that were a delight to hear and not one filler track in the bunch, we get ten tracks recorded live and give you the idea of how great he would be to see in person. The songs are recorded well, not a lousy recording at all, which is impressive with how well everything sounds, it really made for a treat for a change. You can hear how much fun everyone had at this gig and the playing was terrific as well.

I really can’t give this more glowing praise than to go out and buy this CD and turn it up loud and enjoy the great time that you will have listening to it. Go see Thompson live, but just don’t call him Elvis!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danny-Thompson-Deluxe/204721986207053